By Jim Callis
July 29, 2002
The White Sox continued a major overhaul of their disappointing team on Monday by completing their third trade of a pending free agent in five days. Chicago shipped Sandy Alomar Jr. to the Rockies for minor league righthander Enemencio Pacheco. The deal won’t affect the postseason race but does accomplish a little something for both clubs.
The White Sox will pick up most of what remains of Alomar’s $2.9 million salary for 2002, but they’ll also get to increase the playing time of both Mark Johnson and Josh Paul as they look for a catcher for the future. Colorado had been looking for a second catcher to team with Gary Bennett since Bobby Estalella was lost to shoulder surgery in mid-July.
Alomar, 36, is in the twilight of a career that has seen him win Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year award in 1989, a Gold Glove and the American League Rookie of the Year award in 1990, and six all-star berths. He has spent time on the disabled list in each of the four seasons with a variety of knee, hamstring and shoulder troubles. Alomar has hit .285-7-25 in 51 games this year and .275-104-505 in 1,114 big league contests over 14 seasons. He no longer has any speed and doesn’t move well behind the plate, from where he has thrown out just nine of 45 basestealers (20 percent) in 2002.
Pacheco, 23, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 1997 and was converted from starting to relieving in 2001. This season, he has gone 2-2, 3.16 with six saves in 41 games for high Class A Salem. His secondary numbers are far from spectacular: 52 hits and 26 walks versus 31 strikeouts in 51 innings. He’s got a live fastball and a hard slider, but Pacheco never has developed an offspeed pitch nor enjoyed consistent success. During the offseason, his birthdate was revealed to be seven months earlier than previously listed.